Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment



Neighbors of solar project complain of dust, noise

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The construction of two solar farms east of Bend has sparked complaints from neighbors.

The Bend Bulletin reports that one man who lives next door to where the 80-acre solar farms are being built says construction is noisy and dusty.

Tom Collier, who owns the land, has a different perspective.

Collier says there’s always dust and noise when there’s construction. But he says the project will have positive impacts in the long-term.

The construction involves moving dirt and clearing trees and brush where solar panels will be installed over the next few months.

State officials say they’re aware of the project’s impacts on its neighbors. They say steps have been taken to alleviate residents’ concerns, which focus on dust.

Officials say no violations have occurred.



23-year-old Eugene man suspected of killing girlfriend

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a Eugene man in connection with the death of his girlfriend.

Officers had responded Saturday to a report of “suspicious circumstances” to find 19-year-old Jessica Elizabeth Frank dead inside a Eugene home.

Her 23-year-old boyfriend was arrested on an unrelated warrant. Police say further investigation led to his arrest on suspicion of murder for Frank’s death.

The suspect was booked into the Lane County Jail.


Portland police use “criminal gang affiliate” list

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than 100 times each year, Portland police label someone a “criminal gang affiliate.”

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that police can add a flag in their database without a conviction or an arrest. They say the practice creates a secret suspects list.

The Oregonian received a modified version of the gang list last month.

The data is the first independent look at gang designations in Portland since a federal lawsuit forced the city to restrict the practice two decades ago.

Critics say police use the list to boost surveillance of young men of color based mostly on the social networks they were born into.

They say close monitoring of any teenager is likely to turn up some kind of bad behavior, and that disproportionate monitoring of black teens helps ensure they are prosecuted criminally at high rates.



Man arrested after fatal stabbing in Ashland

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — Ashland police are investigating a fatal stabbing.

Officers were called to a Strawberry Lane home at about 1 a.m. Sunday from a caller who said someone had been stabbed. Police found a man in the driveway suffering from multiple stab wounds.

Efforts to save 20-year-old Avi Feldman were unsuccessful and he died at the scene.

Officers then arrested Pedro Sabalsa Mendez near the crime scene. He faces a murder charge. He was booked into the Jackson County Jail.

Police are investigating how the stabbing occurred.


Judge’s order revives movement to remove Snake River dams

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Conservationists and others have renewed a push to remove four giant dams from the Snake River in southeast Washington to save wild salmon runs.

They’re speaking up after a federal judge in Portland, Oregon, earlier this year rejected the government’s latest plan for protecting threatened and endangered salmon in the Columbia River system. The judge ordered agencies to take a new look at all approaches to managing the dams, including breaching.

The Snake River stretches over 1,000 miles, from Wyoming’s western border to the mighty Columbia River in Washington. For much of its history, the river and its tributaries produced salmon runs in the millions that sustained Native American tribes.

The four dams provide about 5 percent of the region’s electricity. A recent federal report said if the dams are removed, a new natural gas plant would be needed to replace the lost electricity.


Police arrest 6 during Portland protest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say six people were arrested in connection with a protest that blocked traffic on Interstate 5 in southeast Portland.

Saturday night’s protest was in conjunction with a nationwide protest called, “The Million Mask March.”

The group of protesters temporarily blocked northbound traffic on the freeway causing long delays. Police initially focused on stopping traffic to avoid any collisions between drivers and protesters on the freeway.

Protesters left the freeway and marched on city streets. That’s where the six people were arrested.

Those six people ranged in age from 25 to 51. The charges included disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and interfering with a police officer.


Democratic Party wants state GOP to stop false robo calls

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Democratic Party wants the state’s GOP to stop making automated calls that falsely tell voters their ballots won’t count.

Democratic Party chair Frank Dixon says the Republican Party claimed the robo calls targeted “inactive” Republican voters. But Dixon says non-affiliated and Democratic voters received the calls.

Dixon says election officials across Oregon have been contacted by voters who received the calls and are concerned about their right to vote.

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins says the state’s GOP acknowledged making the calls.

The GOP said it arranged for automated calls on a county-by-county basis, but an investigation will determine if the party was the only source of the calls. There were variations in the scripts that voters heard.

Atkins says political parties can legally reach out to voters who are officially “inactive,” but it’s critical to make sure lists are up-to-date to avoid confusion.


Record number of ballots have been cast in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon agency in charge of elections in the state says more than 1 million voters have cast their ballot so far, with almost a quarter-million more ballots returned than the same time-frame before the 2012 general elections.

The Oregon Secretary of State said on Friday that the turnout exceeds expectations.

Jeanne P. Atkins says that compared to Friday’s total of 1.05 million ballots returned, 805,862 ballots were returned on the Friday before the 2012 general election, and 810,254 ballots the Friday before the 2008 election.

The current turnout represents 41 percent of eligible voters. Atkins says voters should use drop boxes at this point, because mailing risks the ballot not arriving in time to be counted. They must be received by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Postmarks do not count.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.